One Up, One Down

Sadly, the goat born late last night didn’t survive his first full day. Despite making it through the night, and being up on his feet and nursing this morning, it seems the barn proved too cold for him. We left all the doors closed today, and the lights on, but I guess that wasn’t enough. When Homeschooled Farm Girl came out to the barn this evening to milk, she found that the kid had expired in that fresh dry straw bed I’d made for him.

Here he was, this morning:

Lesson learned: We definitely need to invest in a blow dryer. I’ve been trying to avoid spending the money on a new one, but it’s looking like we should bite the bullet and pick up a cheap dryer the next time we’re at Wal Mart. Getting the kid totally warmed up and completely dry might have given him a better shot at survival.

But we also have good news to report in the goat department: Puddles continues to thrive beyond all expectation. She’s hanging out in my office pretty much all day, and this afternoon achieved a major milestone: she managed to climb/jump onto my couch. She’d been trying for some time now, but had never been able (especially with the slick floor). Today, she put all the pieces together and jumped up to join me as I read a book. And now that she has it all figured out, she makes the jump perfectly nearly every time. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before she figures out how to work the remote for the TV.

She enjoys sleeping on the couch, too:

Fear not, we will begin transitioning her to the barn tomorrow. We’d been hoping that the newborn goat kid could be her companion, and that his presence would make her transition to “goat life” easier. There are five other kids in the barn, but they’re all significantly bigger and more agile than she. So, we’ll keep a close eye on her tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “One Up, One Down

  1. I don't know if this would be a fire hazard… and we certainly don't deal with the temperatures you do, but what about a simple heating pad? If we have one I'm concerned about keeping warm (more ailing chicks than goats), I put a heating pad in a laundry basket and cover it with an old towel. The couple times I've used it on a goat, once they notice the heat, they don't move from it and give anyone else a chance to even notice the treasure they have.


  2. Followed your link from Turd's “Watchtower” silver-blog after reading about your beekeeping experience. Sorry to hear about your baby goat, as well as the demise of your hive.

    One of those heating pads used for starting seedlings (also called a 'seedling mat' may be an idea to keep your babies warm.

    Here on the west side of Puget Sound we are also getting experience with gardening & farming skills; no time for livestock yet but bees may be the way to begin.



  3. Mammoth – Good hearing from you here, and thanks for the condolences regarding the goat/bees. The seedling heater is a good idea, as is HM's heating pad suggestion. I think Mrs. Yeoman Farmer may have one or the other of those, and we'll try it next time.

    West Sound is a great place, and nice climate. I grew up in the Seattle area, and my grandparents lived near Hood Canal, not far from Shelton. I miss it.


  4. A bit late on my comment to your post, but I also want to let you know that there is a heating mat made especially for leaving outside in a dog house, for instance. I keep one in the garage for my outdoor cat and he loves it! It is hard plastic and has two temperatures (warm and warmer) depending on which side you use. It is fireproof and meant to be left on all the time. Found mine for $10 at Walmart years ago. They haven't carried them since. But the heating pad is always a good temporary fix. Puddles is adorable!


  5. Sorry about the loss of the buck kid, but impressed by your progress with the doe kid!

    During the recent MI cold snap, we had Icelandic lambs getting born left and right. Several of them got chilled. One basic measure we employ for any newborn that has been (or may have been) chilled is administering an enema (glycerin is my preference, but dishsoap in water also works) to ensure the meconium has been expelled. A lamb (or kid) that has been chilled will often retain meconium, then will stop eating, and will become dehydrated. It is a simple, inexpensive thing and can help prevent losses during cold weather.

    We also made little lamb jackets out of the cut-off legs of old sweatpants. They seemed to help the lambs retain heat until they were completely dry.

    This is the earliest we have lambed, and the cold and wind definitely pose new challenges!


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